How Often, and When, Should You Post on Social Media?

Social media bubblesAt Strategic Communications, we are strong advocates for social media marketing. The challenge faced by many businesses — particularly smaller organizations without a sophisticated marketing department with the ability to conduct focused market research — is that it’s not always easy to tell how those efforts contribute to growing revenue. Consequently, it’s hard to know just how much social media marketing to do.

We feel strongly that some presence is generally better than no presence. However, what is the marginal benefit of posting five tweets per day instead of four? Social media marketing is less costly and time consuming than many other forms of marketing, but it does still require effort. Having an idea of the marginal benefit of that activity or the optimal amount would certainly aid many businesses. Fortunately, this is a subject that has been heavily researched by a number of organizations that have asked that same question.

For example, a HubSpot article by Lindsay Kolowich titled “How Often Should You Post on Facebook?” analyzed data from the company’s more than 13,500 customers. So what did they find? Well, a theme that runs through most of this research is that the answer “it depends” is going to apply more often than many consumers of this information might like. But the truth is, there are a lot of factors that go into determining the optimum level of social media activity, which makes reviewing the research and the data that much more important to get a perspective.

With that disclaimer, Kolowich’s article did have some useful information that was fairly well presented. “We found that organizations with more Facebook followers tend to get more interaction with each of their posts,” she writes. “Pages with over 10,000 followers were the only ones for whom posting more often increased the number of clicks per post. For business Pages with 10,001+ followers, clicks per post peaked at between 31 – 60 posts per month. When these companies posted more than 61 times per month, clicks per post didn’t increase significantly from when they were posting 1 – 5 times per month.”

The data also had an interesting insight for less popular (on Facebook) organizations: “For organizations with fewer than 10,000 followers, however, the more often they posted to Facebook, the fewer clicks per post they received. Companies with less than 10,000 followers that post more than 60 times a month receive 60% fewer clicks per post than those companies that post 5 or fewer times a month.”

In terms of timing, a similarly focused article by Brian Hughes for Social Media Week suggests “Thursdays and Fridays get the best post engagement; however, you should aim to post at least daily. For daily posters, mid-afternoon times (1 pm to 3 pm) are best for optimal engagement, says Matt Banner with On Blast Blog. Facebook post engagement is steady for the first 90 minutes, so start with a mid-afternoon schedule and tweak from there.” For Twitter, Hughes says, “If you can swing it, follow a daily schedule. If you’re not following a daily posting schedule, then Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday are the best days for posting. Tweets have an incredibly short life cycle (around 18 minutes), so timing and frequency is everything.” He offers suggestions for Pinterest and Instagram as well.

Without going into detail on all of them, suffice it to say that there are plenty of sources to look at when it comes to determining what the optimal timing and frequency of your social media activity is. Some additional reading is available from Fast Company, Forbes, Buffer, Business 2 Community and many other organizations.

Every organization and individual will experience different impacts, of course, and discover different sweet spots. What have you found to be the optimal posting recipes for your social engagement?

 

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